Yosip Khnanisho

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Mar Yosip Khnanisho
Metropolitan of Shemsdin
Born 1893
Died 3 July 1977
Venerated in Assyrian Church of the East

Mar Yosip Khnanisho (Syriac: ܡܪܝ ܝܘܣܦ ܚܢܢܝܫܘܥ), the Metropolitan or Matran of Shemsdin from 1918 to 1977.



Born in 1893 into the Mar Khnanishu family, he studied with Rev. Rehana, the head of the Seminary in Mar Ishu Monastery. He was ordained a deacon at age 12 and ordained as a priest in 1912 at the age of 20. In 1914, he was sent as a delegate to participate in a meeting at the patriarchal cell in Qudchanis to discuss the effects of World War I on the Church and the nation and prepare for the changes that were expected to take place. While there, he was consecrated a Bishop on August 10, 1914 at age 22. He remained in Qudchanis until 1916.


In 1918, Mar Yosip was appointed as assistant to the Patriarch Mar Shimun XXII Paulos as Locum Tenens. In December 1918 he was elevated to the rank of metropolitan in Baghdad, Iraq, by the Patriarch.

In 1933, he was made administrator of the Church in Iraq and the Middle East. In 1973 when Shimun XXIII Eshai resigned his position as Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Yosip Khnanisho was vested with responsibilities of administering the Church worldwide. At the same time the Iraqi government issued a Republican decree appointing Yosip Khnanisho as the Supreme Head of all the Assyrians in Iraq.


On the 3 July 1977, Yosip died in Baghdad, Iraq. His funeral services were conducted on 6 July 1977, at the Church of St George (Mar Gewargis) in Dora, a suburb of Baghdad.

Mar Yosip Khnanisho Church in San Jose, California is named after the metropolitan.


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